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THE LE ADI NG CRIC KETER IN TH E WORLD
Virender Sehwag (page 80)
The Leading Cricketer in the World is chosen by the editor of Wisden in consultation with some of the world’s most experienced cricket writers and commentators. The selection is based on a player’s class and form shown in all cricket during the calendar year, and is guided by statistics rather than governed by them. There is no limit to how many times a player may be chosen. A list of past winners can also be found on page 80; a notional list, backdated to 1900, appeared on page 35 of Wisden 2007.
FIV E CRICKETERS OF TH E YEAR
Stuart Broad (page 82) Michael Clarke (page 85) Graham Onions (page 87) Matt Prior (page 89)
Graeme Swann (page 91)
The Five Cricketers of the Year are chosen by the editor of Wisden, and represent a tradition that dates back to 1889, making this the oldest individual award in cricket. Excellence in (or influence on) the previous English summer are the major criteria for inclusion in the Five. No one can be chosen more than once. A list of past winners can be found on page 425.
THE WISDEN TEST XI
The Wisden Test XI, based solely on performances in Test cricket during the previous calendar year, is selected by a panel of three experienced cricket writers and commentators – all former Test cricketers – from different parts of the world; the editor of Wisden has the deciding vote where necessary. The Wisden Test XI (see page 93) was first introduced in Wisden 2009.
YOUNG WISDEN SCHOOLS CRICKET ER OF THE YEAR
Jos Buttler (page 935)
The Schools Cricketer of the Year, based on first-team performances during the previous English summer, is chosen by Wisden’s schools correspondent in consultation with the editor of Wisden and other experienced observers of schools cricket. The winner’s school must be in the UK, play cricket to a standard approved by Wisden’s schools correspondent and provide reports to this almanack.
WISDEN BOOK OF THE YEAR
Harold Larwood by Duncan Hamilton (page 1615)
The Wisden Book of the Year is selected by Wisden’s guest book reviewer; all cricket books published in the previous calendar year and submitted to Wisden for possible review are eligible. A list of past winners can be found on page 1616.
Full details of past winners of all these honours can be found at www.wisden.com.
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NOTES BY THE EDITOR
An Indian businessman arrived at the India Office in London more than a century ago, seeking permission to start the first steel industry in his own country. Jamshedji Tata was graciously given permission, but only after the Viceroy of India had declared that he would eat his hat if Tata succeeded in producing one ingot of steel. As the Allied war effort in Asia was later to depend on the steel made in the city named after its founder, Jamshedpur, it was just as well for most of us – if not for the viceregal digestion – that Tata did succeed.
Indian businessmen have now taken over the English invention of Twenty20 cricket, just as Jamshedji’s descendants, the Tata Steel Group, have bought up what was British Steel. Last year the second Indian Premier League was staged in South Africa, relocated there with a speed and efficiency previously unknown to cricket, and the inaugural Champions League – the first tournament for domestic Twenty20 winners, and some runners-up – was staged in India. While the International Cricket Council repeatedly stated that Test cricket is the highest form of the sport, they organised a second World Twenty20, and seem to be turning it into an almost annual event.
The England and Wales Cricket Board announced before the start of last season that the 2009 Pro40 would be the final 40-over competition, and that it would be replaced by an all-singing and all-dancing Twenty20, so that county cricket would have not one but two 20-over tournaments per summer. Later, the ECB worked out that the sums did not add up, reverted to one 20-over tournament, and abolished the domestic 50-over competition instead. There was no catching the Twenty20 boat once it had sailed east.
England regain the Ashes Of England captains, only Len Hutton in 1953 and Stanley Jackson in 1905 have done as much as Andrew Strauss accomplished to regain the Ashes during an exhilarating summer: David Gower could be added to this roll of honour, but Australia were at their lowest ebb in 1985. All of these four captains were the leading run-scorers on either side. Their examples created an admirably resilient team spirit among their players. Lower-order batting is one key indicator of a team’s morale, and in 2009 England’s not only scored more runs, they scored them far more quickly than Australia’s. In consequence, England had time to win the two Tests they dominated, whereas Australia had time to win only one.
Strauss, like Jackson, was lucky overall, apart from losing the services of his best batsman, Kevin Pietersen, after the Second Test. Strauss won four tosses, Jackson five, Hutton none at all. Strauss was lucky too in that Brett Lee broke down on the eve of the First Test, after running through England Lions at Worcester with a spell of reverse swing the like of which was not seen again all summer. Lee’s combination of fast yorkers and bouncers would not have been to the taste of England’s lower order. Moreover, in his absence, Australia had nobody with the experience of English conditions, or the personality, to
All rights reserved. You may not copy, distribute, transmit, reproduce or otherwise make available this content in any form or by any means.